Rule #1 of the music industry: Unless you can put out consistently successful records, you could be irrelevant tomorrow.

I’m not trolling, nor joking, nor busting your balls.

Soulja Boy should be treated as a modern day rap legend for what he did the past decade.

In 2007, I was a wide eyed third grader anxiously waiting to learn my algorithms and times tables. In 2007, a 16-year-old named DeAndre Cortez Way released a single Crank That (Soulja Boy). Soulja was the first rapper to use internet (especially social media) successfully to launch him in the mainstream entertainment business.

Now like any internet crazed child, THIS WAS THE SHIT. Like the FLIP PHONES, THE DANCE, THE CHAINS, THE XXXL SHIRTS. This song was influential. DeAndre recorded a music video equipped with a catchy dance routine, and by the end of the Summer of 2007, it was number 1 on the Billboard Top 100.

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Whether or not you like Soulja Boy’s music, it’s impossible to deny the impact he had on the interaction between the musicians and the internet and his role as a visionary pioneer. He was one of the early pioneers in YouTube. YouTube officially launched on December 15, 2005. Soulja Boy uploaded his first video called Soulja Boy’s 1st EVER YouTube Video just three months afterward.

Soulja was one of the first rappers to build his platform in an intense manner through social media. As said before, he posted his first YouTube video three months after YouTube was created. He was ridiculously famous on MySpace (WHICH STILL FUCKING EXIST) and other extinct platforms such as Soundclick and Limewire. This kid was receiving millions of views online from Myspace and YouTube and the thing was, the internet beat the radio into making him a star, not the opposite. During the summer, everywhere I turned there was a dance or phrase that Soulja originated. This 16 year old kid from YouTube got a record deal? He caused an industry that had largely dismissed the internet before to open their eyes and see the extreme potential that the world wide web has.

At 16 years of age, most would be complaining on the struggles of high school, but not Soulja Boy. At the age of 16, Soulja faced accusations that he’d ruined hip-hop. Names such Ice-T, GZA from Wu Tang and even LeBron found any way to slander the superstar. He is the Saint Stephen of modern day rap. But Soulja didn’t back down, especially to Ice-T. Here is what Big Gucci Soulja said:

The thing about Soulja Boy and the dance is that it was RIDICULOUSLY TOUGH. I consider it one of the first dance crazes of the 21st century. The amount of coordination it took is unparalleled, especially compared to your wacko dance crazes like the “Dab” or the god awful “Gangnam Style.”

Soulja Boy has discovered and will continue to discover more internet rappers. He paved the way for guys like Chief Keef and Migos.  He is not only friends with social media’s favortie rapper, but the two dropped a joint tape, Pretty Boy Millionaires, which is surprisingly pretty dope. I think of Soulja like as the original Drake (in terms of jacking peoples style of course!). He intertwined the styles and flows of Gucci Mane, Lil B, Migos and more. Remember how he basically took a still popping Chief Keef under his wing?

All in all, I feel so bad for Soulja Boy. He was just a bit too early so he hasn’t lasted. If he came out now he would’ve been a bigger star because of the massive spread of social media and the attitude to shit talk massive hits isn’t as prevalent today vs back then. Soulja Boy would’ve excelled because he had a grasp on the internet before. Everybody moves on but Soulja will still leave this earth having made millions of dollars in his lifetime. He achieved an enormous amount of success, mostly due to his work ethic. SODMG FOR LIFE.

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Day 3 of HYPE WEEK is done! If you like this article, have any recommendations or questions, leave a comment down below! Benjy signing out!

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